Statement: Interior Chief Side-Steps Senate to Again Anoint William Pendley to Bureau of Land Management Leadership

Today, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt reanointed controversial anti-public lands William Pendley to be the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The memo, signed by Bernhardt, is the 29th iteration of a redesignation of authority for key Interior Department Senate-confirmable positions, a potential violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act that skirts the Senate confirmation process. In response, Western Values Project released a statement.

Statement by Western Values Project Deputy Director Jayson O’Neill

“Between William Pendley’s 30-year history of advocating for the sale and elimination of America’s public lands to a list of over 50 conflicts longer than a CVS receipt, Pendley is simply unfit to be employed at the BLM, let alone leading the agency. It’s a slap in the face to all public land users that Sec. Bernhardt would again skirt the Senate confirmation process and hand the keys of America’s largest land management agency to a known anti-public lands zealot and self-proclaimed sagebrush rebel.” 

“Quite frankly, we’re not sure there is any work Pendley would be legally allowed to do after releasing his mega-list of conflicts. If there is any hope of preserving what’s left of America’s public lands and outdoor heritage under the Trump administration, this conflicted-character needs to be fired.”


Join the effort to strengthen the American West.